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Brinjal (Baingan): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction: 

Brinjal is scientifically known as Solanum melongena L. It belongs to the family Solanaceae. It is an annually growing plant of subtropical and tropical regions grown extensively for its berry-like fruit. This crop is widely grown in China, Bangladesh, Philippines, India and Pakistan.1 

This bushy plant is a rich source of flavonoids, alkaloids, and other bioactive compounds Like arginine aspartic acids, etc. It has various common names such as Begun (in Bengali), Baigan (in Hindi), Vartaku (in Sanskrit), Vangi (in Marathi), and Brinjal (in English). It is confirmed that there are about 15-20 varieties of brinjals making them available in a wide variety of colours, shapes, and from various countries. Brinjals have many Ayurvedic medicinal properties; hence, they are also known as the Father of modern medicine.1,2 

brinjal benefits

Did You Know?

  • Brinjal is a good source of dietary fiber, which can help promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Brinjal contains phytonutrients that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Brinjal is a low-sodium vegetable, making it suitable for individuals with high blood pressure or kidney problems. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Brinjal contains antioxidants that help protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov

Nutritional Value of Brinjal: 

Brinjals (Baingan) are an essential source of nutrients, which are beneficial to human health. 

Nutritional Components Value/100 grams 
Energy 25 kcal 
Carbohydrate 5.88 g 
Protein 0.98 g 
Sugars 3.53 g 
Total lipid 0.18 g 
Fibre 3 g 
Table 1: Nutritional value of brinjal per 100 grams3

 

Components Value/100 grams 
Calcium 9 mg 
Iron 0.23 mg 
Magnesium 14 mg 
Phosphorus 24 mg 
Potassium 229 mg 
Sodium 2 mg 
Zinc 0.16 mg 
Copper 0.081 mg 
Manganese 0.232 mg 
Selenium 0.3  µg 
Vitamin C 2.2 mg 
Thiamin 0.039 mg 
Riboflavin 0.037 mg 
Niacin 0.649 mg 
Vitamin B6 0.084 mg 
Folate 22  µg 
Choline 6.9 mg 
Vitamin A 1  µg 
Î’eta-carotene 14  µg 
Vitamin E 0.3 mg 
Vitamin K 3.5  µg 
Table 2: Vitamins and minerals of brinjal per 100 grams3

 

Components Value/100 grams 
Aspartic acid 0.164 g 
Threonine 0.037 g 
Isoleucine 0.045 g 
Leucine 0.064 g 
Lysine 0.047 g 
Phenylalanine 0.043 g 
Valine 0.053 g 
Arginine 0.057 g 
Glutamic acid 0.186 g 
Proline 0.043 g 
Table 3: Amino acids of brinjal per 100 grams3 

Also Read: Bottle Gourd: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Brinjal: 

Including brinjal in your diet may correct your iron balance. Consuming brinjal, which is known to have iron-chelating properties, may be beneficial for pregnant females, lactating mothers, and teenage females. The iron in eggplant has the potential to help with conditions like pre-menstrual syndrome, amenorrhoea, and antenatal anaemia.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Brinjal is grown mainly for food and medicinal purposes. The bioactive components of this plant might have potential helpful properties.1 The properties of brinjal are: 

  • It may be an anti-oxidant (prevents oxidative stress)1 
  • It may be an analgesic (reduces pain) 
  • It may be an anti-pyretic (reduces high fever) 
  • It may have an anti-inflammatory (reduces swelling) potential 
  • It may be an anti-asthmatic (prevents the attack of asthma) 
  • It might help with lipid-lowering 
  • It might help with blood pressure-lowering 

Also Read: Cauliflower: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

Potential Uses of Brinjal: 

Based on my experience, consuming a carotenoid-rich diet, such as eggplant, may help address vitamin A deficiency, which is a common problem among school-going children, particularly in developing countries. The carotenoids present in eggplant are easily converted into vitamin A in the body, providing a natural and accessible source of this essential nutrient.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Brinjals are a unique source of nutrients and might be helpful to human health. Brinjals have been used in traditional medicine to manage many diseases.4 Some of the potential uses of brinjal are described as follows. 

1. Potential uses of brinjal for diabetes 

Brinjal is a rich source of fibre and has low soluble carbohydrate levels, making it a potent option for managing type 2 diabetes. Studies found that brinjal might help with glucose levels in blood in diabetic animal models. These studies showed that brinjal might be a good addition to the daily diet to help with oxidative stress, glucose levels and blood pressure in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.4 However, more studies on humans are required. 

2. Potential uses of brinjal for obesity 

Brinjal might effectively help with the digestion of lipids and their absorption into the body, which means that having brinjals regularly will allow you to enjoy your burgers safely too (somewhat at least). It also contains bioactive compounds, which might have potential to solubilise serum triglycerides (fats) and cholesterol in the body and help manage body weight.4 However, there is a requirement for more studies on this subject. 

3. Potential uses of brinjal for cancer 

Incorporating dry eggplants into your diet may have potential benefits in the management of stomach bloating, gas, and piles. Dry eggplants are known to possess certain compounds that can help improve digestion, reduce gas formation, and alleviate symptoms associated with piles.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Brinjal might have beneficial effects against different types of cancer such as lung cancer and gastric (related to the gut) cancer. The dietary fibre present in brinjal might promote the digestion of food. It may also eliminate the toxic wastes from the body that eventually helps with cancer of the stomach or colon.4This may indicate potential benefits of brinjal for cancer, however, studies are insufficient to establish the impact on human health. 

4. Potential uses of brinjal for skin and hair 

Brinjal is composed of fat, vitamins, lots of  water and minerals that might help with better skin tone and quality of skin, hair, and nail. It may also help with cancer of the skin.2 However, much more extensive research is required in this area to state the above-mentioned potential uses as facts. 

5. Other Potential uses of brinjal 

  • Brinjal may help to lower the risk of many heart diseases such as heart attack and stroke by apparently reducing the damage caused by free radicals.
  • It may help with blood circulation in the heart due to its essential components such as bioactive compounds, potassium, fibre and vitamin B6.
  • Brinjal contains different vital minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium and magnesium that might help with bone health.
  • The roots of brinjal are blended and boiled with sour milk and grain porridge (sticky meal) to manage syphilis. These are also decocted for use as a cure to prevent bleeding, asthma and skin diseases. Your Ayurvedic physician will guide and prescribe you to do so if and when necessary. So, ensure that you consult them before using brinjal for the above-mentioned purpose.
  • Brinjal may be associated with good health of the brain.
  • Brinjal also contains essential plant nutrients, which might help enhance memory and protect cells of the brain.2

Though there are studies that show the benefits of brinjal in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of brinjal on human health.  

Also Read: Radish: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Brinjal? 

Brinjal can be used in the following ways: 

  • Brinjals are used in modern and traditional countries to cure various diseases, create ornaments, as food, in religious rituals and even as fuel.
  • As food it can cooked, boiled, stewed, grilled, baked, pickled, mashed, roasted, dried, fried and even microwaved.
  • The roots, stalk, skin and leaves of brinjal can be used by an Ayurvedic physician to prepare medicines and the dried shoots of brinjal are used as a fuel.
  • It might also be applied to wounds and cuts.2

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Brinjal: 

In recent years, consumption of brinjal may have caused rare allergic reactions. However, some sensitive individuals are generally affected by a minor class of allergens present in brinjal. The potential allergen is found to be non-protein metabolites. The most common side effects of brinjal are itching of the throat, skin rashes all over the body, discomfort and hoarseness (gruffly voice).5 If such allergic reactions appear, consult your Ayurvedic physician immediately. 

Also Read: Magnesium Deficiency: Understanding Causes, Signs, and Solutions

Precautions to Take with Brinjal: 

Since allergic reactions are observed with brinjal consumption, general precautions need to be followed to avoid health issues. Please do not use herbs for self-treatment, without consultation with a qualified doctor.

  • Brinjal is a very rich source of iron and may be helpful for pregnant women and lactating mothers.2 However, enusre that you consult your Ayurvedic physician before consuming it.
  • Side effects of brinjal are observed as allergies causing immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated hypersensitivity reactions.5 Since young children don’t have mature immune systems, they might develop allergic reactions towards brinjal. Thus, extra precautions need to be taken while giving them to children. Consult your Ayurvedic physician if any health-related issue appears.

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

There is no evidence of the interactions between brinjal and other drugs. However, more research is required to confirm its safety in the presence of a drug. 

Also Read: Raw Papaya: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Does brinjal help with constipation? 

Yes. The dietary fibre of brinjal might help with the bowel movements which might helps with constipation. However, more research is required to confirm the stated effects. 

What are the benefits of brinjal (Baingan) during pregnancy?

Brinjal contains iron and is also considered a chelator of iron that might help to capture iron molecules in the body. However, you should consult with a docotor and confirm if its entirely safe to eat it during preganancy.2 

What are the advantages of brinjal? 

Brinjal might have many advantages; it is may help with diabetes, paralysis, killing of micro-organisms, gas problems, bones and dental issues. It may also help stomach bloating, piles and gout.2 However, there is a need for much more research to confirm such potential benefits. 

Does brinjal help to tackle infection? 

Yes. Brinjal contains chlorogenic acid and other essential substances that might trigger the immune system and produce antibodies that may be beneficial during viral or microbial infection.2 However, more research is required to confirm these effects of brinjal for human health. 

What vitamins are present in brinjal? 

Brinjal contains niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, riboflavin, choline, vitamin B6, vitamin A, folate, vitamin K, beta-carotene and vitamin E.3 

References: 

1. Das M, Barua N. Pharmacological activities of Solanum melongena Linn. (Brinjal plant). Int J Green Pharm. 2013 Oct 1;7(4):274-7. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270016065_Pharmacological_activities_of_Solanum_melongena_Linn_Brinjal_plant 

2. Fraikue FB. Unveiling the Potential Utility of Eggplant: A Review. 2016 Aug 1;1. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/310846026 

3. US Department of Agriculture [Internet]. Eggplant, raw; 2019 Jan 4 [cited 2022 Jun 6]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169228/nutrients 

4. Gürbüz N, UluiÅŸik S, Frary A, Frary A, DoÄŸanlar S. Health benefits and bioactive compounds of eggplant. Food Chem. 2018 Dec 1;268(1):602-10. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.06.093 

5. Ferrara L. A case of allergy and food sensitivity: the nasunin, natural color of eggplant. J Pharm Bio Sci. 2015 Oct 1;5(10):54-8. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lydia-Ferrara-2/publication/283538679_A_case_of_allergy_and_food_sensitivity_the_nasunin_natural_color_of_eggplant/links/5643402308aef646e6c69439/A-case-of-allergy-and-food-sensitivity-the-nasunin-natural-color-of-eggplant.pdf 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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